The report is published one year from a pan-European agreement, the Prague Declaration, on tackling malnutrition, which is estimated to cost Ireland €1.5 billion annually – 10 per cent of the entire health care budget.
The assessment notes Ireland signed up to the Prague Declaration but warns appreciation of malnutrition’s potential threat remains "dismally low" in Ireland.
Commenting, Prof Mike Gibney, director of the UCD Institute for Food and Health, said: "There have been very few studies in Ireland, despite the overwhelming evidence from the UK and internationally that it is a massive and very costly problem.
"As a result, it remains significantly under-recognised, under-detected and under-treated in older people, and is often seen as an inevitable consequence of ageing, which it is not.
"Malnutrition is eminently treatable in the vast majority of cases, but success depends on picking up those at risk early, and treating them without delay," he said.